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williswall
seeking tailwind



Joined: 30 Sep 2007
Posts: 1696 | TRs
Location: Bellevue, WA
williswall
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seeking tailwind
PostSat Mar 21, 2020 8:29 pm 
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EDIT: I originally wrote this on my blog and copied it over here without looking too closely....fixed now.
Warmed up from my Cowlitz Rocks skin/ski a few days ago, I hit the snow with a full 1.5 liter bottle spiked with Tailwind this time, heading up the familiar Muir Snowfield to tag Anvil Rock (9584’). I know I took my daughter by here when she was 16 but figured I’d make it official. My scramble guide to Mt. Rainier suggested not trying to stand on the rock that marks the peak, instead tagging it with one’s pole. If you consider the sheer drop on the other side and the crumbly nature of Rainier’s makeup, it sounded like a prudent idea to me.

Lineup for the Paradise gate opening
Lineup for the Paradise gate opening
View towards Camp Muir from Anvil Rock
View towards Camp Muir from Anvil Rock
View south from Anvil Rock
View south from Anvil Rock
Paradise parking lot from 9500'
Paradise parking lot from 9500'

Take a Saturday with incredible weather, add in the spiking effect of Coronavirus with social distancing and shutdowns galore (meaning people are getting outside probably more than ever), and tweak the mix with free entry to the park, and one gets a bloated parking lot. The whole trip up the snowfield had specks of humans booting, skinning and snow shoeing in nicely spaced lines for the better part of the day. Everywhere I turned the specks were visible both high and low. However, with so much open space it was quite easy to have your own bubble. I opted to boot up Panorama Point as I saw some skiers having difficulty skinning. Besides, there is always a nice boot track here making it easy peasy. Party time at the top with people taking a break and worshipping the malignant sun god. I snapped a few pics and continued up the remaining short steep two steps to the gentler terrain above. After this it was shush shush shush goes the skins for some time. I found a nice bit of rock to take a break about 500’ below Anvil, eating some chow and quaffing some hydramation. I had noticed some chaffing on my Hoji’s inside ankle side from my prior trip, so I shed the boots to take a look. I applied some mole skin and changed to thicker socks and this seemed to alleviate the problem, at least until I took the mole skin off in the shower at home. The layer of skin that came with it raised an eyebrow to say the least. From the rocks it was a short skin to just below the summit rock of Anvil, where I found a flat spot to stash the skis. Low angle soft snow made an easy skip to the summit rock where I placed my pole atop the top. Tag! Nice views here to while away a few minutes, and far enough off the main route to enjoy solitude whilst watching the ants, noticeably slower now with the higher elevation.
I configured for the downhill, somewhat dreading the conditions. However, it turns out the crud at 9000’ wasn’t nearly as bad as what I encountered below Cowlitz Rocks and was quite manageable. In fact, as I proceeded lower the skiing became less survival and more glidal, with pretty good soft spring conditions all the way to Paradise. Maybe a little choppy in places but fun nonetheless. The steep slope below Panorama point was doable without traversing and was over in short order with tight turns. After that it was cruising to the parking lot, now packed to the gills with people everywhere. I even passed a group in lounge chairs with tables adorned with beer. I weaved through the parking lot to my car staying 15’ from everyone and did the pack up chores….drying the skis, pouring coffee, eating a peanut butter cookie; the usual stuff. Light traffic had me home in short order and my wife treated me to a salmon dinner. Welcome to retirement.

Nisqually icefall2
Nisqually icefall2
Mt. Adams from Anvil Rock
Mt. Adams from Anvil Rock
Little Tahoma
Little Tahoma
Future skin cancer patients
Future skin cancer patients
Destination Anvil Rock
Destination Anvil Rock
Cowlitz Glacier from Anvil Rock
Cowlitz Glacier from Anvil Rock
Climbing the Muir Snowfield
Climbing the Muir Snowfield
Beware cornice!
Beware cornice!
Above the cloud sea
Above the cloud sea
Above Pan Point
Above Pan Point

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"You run with me, not the other way around.” (Cassie re races)

williswall.com
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puzzlr
Mid Fork Rocks



Joined: 13 Feb 2007
Posts: 6619 | TRs
Location: Stuck in the middle
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Mid Fork Rocks
PostSat Mar 21, 2020 9:20 pm 
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Nice shot of Little Tahoma -- can't believe I climbed it looking at it from this angle!

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Mid Fork Rocksflickr
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Jeff
Ramen Elitist



Joined: 18 Aug 2008
Posts: 2941 | TRs
Location: Someone get me out of Everett, WA
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Ramen Elitist
PostSun Mar 22, 2020 4:01 am 
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I'm convinced that I can boot up pan point faster than I can skin up. At least in spring snow. I strap on my crampons and head straight up the icy steps.

Looks like a nice day to be up there. I think worries of a lockdown may have motivated people as well.

What was the snow like?
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williswall
seeking tailwind



Joined: 30 Sep 2007
Posts: 1696 | TRs
Location: Bellevue, WA
williswall
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seeking tailwind
PostSun Mar 22, 2020 9:28 am 
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Jeff wrote:
What was the snow like?

Heavy and gloppy above 9000', but spring like below.....rather chopped up lower.

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"You run with me, not the other way around.” (Cassie re races)

williswall.com
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williswall
seeking tailwind



Joined: 30 Sep 2007
Posts: 1696 | TRs
Location: Bellevue, WA
williswall
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seeking tailwind
PostSun Mar 22, 2020 7:21 pm 
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My apologies....I looked at this post just now and realized that the copy and paste I did from my blog got totally botched. Fixed now; will pay closer attention next time.

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"You run with me, not the other way around.” (Cassie re races)

williswall.com
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Brushbuffalo
Member
Member


Joined: 17 Sep 2015
Posts: 1437 | TRs
Location: there earlier, here now, somewhere later... Bellingham in between
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PostMon Mar 23, 2020 12:04 pm 
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williswall wrote:
Future skin cancer patients
Future skin cancer patients

More likely, future Covid-19 patients.

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Passing rocks and trees like they were standing still
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El Puma
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Member


Joined: 13 Nov 2002
Posts: 343 | TRs
Location: Inside, wanting outside
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PostTue Mar 24, 2020 6:49 pm 
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You retired? Congratulations Sir - don't think you coulda timed it any better (well, with exception to the 201k of course  wink.gif  )

Enjoy - I'll think of you heading out over the Aleutians ... if we ever get our WBs in the air again...
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